Leaving soon: the five o’clock service from Paddington to Bangladesh

An intrepid traveller will soon be able to leave London for Brussels, Cologne, Vienna, Bucharest, Istanbul, Tehran, Quetta, Lahore, Amritsar, Delhi and Calcutta before reaching the end of the line in Dhaka according to a report from The Times.Indian Train Station

Rail enthusiasts with a sense of adventure and 23 days to spare will be able to travel by train from London to Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, when a new link opens later this year.

The 7,000-mile Trans-Asia railway will follow one of the old Silk Roads through Istanbul, Tehran, Lahore and Delhi.

It is already being described by train buffs as “the world’s greatest railway journey” and will be longer than the Trans-Siberian railway, which spans 5,772 miles.

Under a United Nations-sponsored scheme, Pakistan and Iran will link up their lines in the coming months to join the sub-continent’s track to that of Europe for the first time.

The UN said the link would open up new trade routes within Asia and give the former Soviet republics of central Asia rail access to Iran’s strategic sea port at Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.

Last week, senior Indian officials met their Iranian counterparts in Tehran to discuss progress. India has already earmarked £90m to extend its vast rail network towards its border with Burma. From there just 218 miles of missing track stands in the way of an overland rail journey from London to Singapore.

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[Photos Eileen Dehil via Flickr]

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